My Freshman Year: Day 89
Days as a Freshman: 88
Mood: Not good
“How long did you stay?” Rebecca threw a pair of socks into her suitcase and looked up from her underwear drawer. “Did you listen to their entire conversation?”
“I had to! I didn’t want Public Safety to know I was sitting there!” Standing by Stacey’s mirror, I poked around her jewelry, moving pairs of pearl earrings and fake diamond bracelets in an attempt to find a ring of mine that had disappeared a few weeks ago. Stacey was big on barrowing without asking.
“Did they talk for a long time?” Closing one drawer and opening another, Rebecca continued to pack her bag. She was leaving early for the Thanksgiving holiday, a fact I had not received well. Three whole days living in a room with Stacey by myself spelled absolute misery.
“The cop said they had heard about a party at the Soccer House the night before, but of course Sasha denied it.” A flash of jade stood out from the mess of cubic zirconium, and I carefully began to untangle my ring from one of Stacey’s cheap necklaces. “He got all mad at the cop. Said they were being unfair…staking the house out and stuff. He said it wasn’t politically correct.”
“What does that mean?”
“I don’t know. I don’t even think Sasha knew. He was just yelling stuff.”
“Well, did they get in trouble or anything?” Bored of packing, Rebecca sat down on her bed, making a face at my reflection in the mirror.
“No, but the Public Safety officer told them to watch out. He said any more unofficial parties and the house could get expelled.” Finally freeing my ring from its tacky prison, I walked over to my own bed. “And then he just walked away and drove off.”
“I bet you didn’t get any studying done.” Rachel kept her green eyes on me as I sat down, knowing the answer before I said it because she always knew the answer before I said it.
“Nope.” My pillow felt nice against my cheek. Even though it was still early, I felt like I could fall asleep in two minutes, fully clothed, with all the lights on. “He apologized and everything, but still seemed really pissed. I’ve never seen Sasha mad before.”
“What’s he like mad? Still cute?”
“I don’t know…” Closing my eyes, I tried to picture Sasha’s face from Saturday morning. I tried to remember what anger had done to his usually sparkly eyes and crooked grin.
“I bet he was. I mean…to you.”
“I don’t know. I think I actually remember him looking…weird.”
“Weird?” Rebecca’s bed creaked and I opened up one eye, seeing her in the exact same position as myself; lying on her back, eyes closed, surrounded by schoolwork and books. I guess I wasn’t the only one feeling exhausted.
“I don’t know. Whatever. It’s not worth talking about. He said maybe we’d get together right before Thanksgiving to go over stuff.”
“Do you have time for that?” Rebecca yawned. “Don’t you have the big paper for English?”
“Yeah…” matching her yawn, I closed my eyes again. All my energy was draining away, seeping into the soft pillows and the down comforter. These first couple of months of college had taken more energy than I had realized, and it was all catching up to me now; stress headaches at night and heavy feet in the morning, naps that knocked me out cold in the afternoons and a constant desire for caffeine. Initially, I hadn’t been sure I wanted to go home for Thanksgiving, but now I couldn’t imagine staying at school for another week without a break.
“It’s gonna be weird going home…” Rebecca’s voice trailed off and then turned on again. “Everything’s weird there now.”
“Why?” Opening my eyes, I turned my head to face her. Rebecca didn’t talk about herself much, so whenever she brought up her home life, I listened.
“Oh just…because. Stuff. Lots of stuff.” Her eyes stayed closed and her voice was soft with hesitation, like she wasn’t sure if she should continue. “It’s probably not going to be a relaxing holiday, is all.”
“Really? Is there a—?”
Before I could finish my question, the door to our room burst open and Stacey came flying inside, her fake Louis Vuitton purse banging into my dresser and her usually shellacked blond hair flying everywhere. “Guys! There’s a total fight happening in the lounge!”
“Why?” I didn’t move. Stacey liked to exaggerate, and I wasn’t going to give up my comfortable moment for some stupid testosterone fueled argument about who got to watch what on TV.
“I don’t know why, but it’s big! Public Safety’s gonna be called any minute! There’s like six guys.” She took a breath, her high-pitched voice more strained than usual. “Sasha’s there, Grace. Seriously, you guys gotta come!”
By the time I sat up, Stacey was already gone, running back toward the muffled yells and bangs coming from down the hallway.
“Shit.” Rebecca pushed herself up and walked towards the door. “I can hear it from here. What the hell is happening?”
Without taking time to slip on my shoes, I half-walked, half-ran down the hallway, Rebecca close behind. I wasn’t sure why I was in a hurry, or what I expected to find once I got to the lounge—I just knew my exhaustion had suddenly been replaced by fear. Sharp, stabby fear that grew with as the shouts and bangs became louder and angrier.
Something very bad was happening.